An iconic building of Budapest is finally getting its distinctive looks back. The Corvin Áruház in the Pest side of the capital is getting renovated, and its original façade will be renovated so that it can once again be the home of Budapest fashion.
According to Index, the history of the building goes back quite a lot. It was inaugurated almost a century ago, on March 1, 1926, on the South-side of the Blaha Lujza Square. This was the first mall in Hungary and was founded by the German M. J. Emden und Söhne company from Hamburg with a capital of 1 million Hungarian Krones. Zoltán Reiss designed the original, Classicist building and the design was pompous and luxurious, like a real castle.
After opening, the mall became very popular and was the staple of Budapest fashion. It not only brought customers from Budapest and its surrounding areas, but people even went shopping there from abroad. Everyone wanted to shop there, and it was booming. You could find anything in there; a women’s hat salon, mesmerising shop windows, cafés, glamorous fashion shows, fine art exhibitions and salon music every afternoon.
The Corvin Áruház was not only the first mall in Pest, but for many years, it also housed the first escalator in Hungary.
The escalator was added to the mall in 1931. Let us admit that people could not imagine how it would be like to use standard staircases in a mall anymore. Unfortunately, since then, history gave its worst to the mall; during WWII, it was burned down, and in 1956, during the Revolution, it sustained more severe damages.
In 1961, instead of renovating the beautiful original façade, people had decided to conceal the damages and the classical façade behind a massive steel mask.
Somewhere around the 2000s, it lost its charm as the building of new, more modern malls was booming around that time. Corvintető, an underground music club, somewhat gave that charm back, but not to the extent it had when it first opened.
Finally, in 2018, the Hungarian government set aside HUF 300 million (€ 822,000) for renovating the original façade.
Corvin Áruház Ingatlanhasznosító Kft. started working on the building and even undertook further reconstruction costs to modernise the interior and machinery. If everything goes according to plan, the renovated building would be finished in 2022, 96 years after its inauguration.
This, however, is not the only development in the area. According to Budapest,
the entire Blaha Lujza Square will be renewed, and the designs look modern and beautiful, of course, green.
They will be encouraging using bicycles more, with two new MOL Bubi stations, which are rentable bicycles, as well as more bike racks. There will also be some alteration to traffic, and the renewal of Somogyi Béla Street will be included in the Blaha Lujza project. After seeing what designers can do, such as Budapest’s newest park, the Széllkapu, we hope that the development will produce a beautiful, green and liveable space in Blaha Lujza Square.
Source: Index.hu, Budapest.hu